Skip to main content

A Change in the Weather

Item Preview

image
A Change in the Weather


Published


These two Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) images were acquired over the northern plains of Mars near one of the possible landing sites for NASA's Phoenix mission, set to launch in August 2007. The lower right image was acquired first, on Nov. 29, 2006, at 0720 UTC (2:20 a.m. EST), while the upper left image was acquired about one month later on Dec. 26, 2006, at 0030 UTC (or Dec. 25, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. EST). The CRISM data were taken in 544 colors covering the wavelength range from 0.36-3.92 micrometers, and show features as small as about 20 meters (66 feet) across. The images shown above are red-green-blue color composites using wavelengths 0.71, 0.6, and 0.53 micrometers, respectively (or infrared, red, and green light), and are overlain on a mosaic of Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) visible data. Each image covers a region about 11 kilometers (6.6 miles) wide at its narrowest, and they overlap near 71.0 degrees north latitude, 252.8 degrees east longitude The Earth equivalent to the season and latitude of this site is late summer in northern Canada, above the Arctic Circle. At that season and latitude, Martian weather conditions are transitioning from summer with generally clear skies, occasional weather fronts, and infrequent dust storms, to an autumn with pervasive, thick water-ice clouds. The striking difference in the appearance of the images is caused by the seasonal development of water-ice clouds. The earlier (lower right) image is cloud-free, and surface features can clearly be seen - like the small crater in the upper left. However, the clouds and haze in the later (upper left) image make it hard to see the surface. There are variations in the thickness and spacing of the clouds, just like clouds on Earth. On other days when nearby sites were imaged, the cloud cover varied day-to-day, but as the seasons change the trend is more and thicker clouds. With the onset of autumn the clouds will gradually cover the area and, just as with autumn on Earth, the Martian day is getting shorter at these high northern latitudes. In a few more months this area will settle into winter darkness and be covered in a layer of frost and carbon dioxide snow. CRISM's mission: Find the spectral fingerprints of aqueous and hydrothermal deposits and map the geology, composition and stratigraphy of surface features. The instrument will also watch the seasonal variations in Martian dust and ice aerosols, and water content in surface materials -- leading to new understanding of the climate. The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) is one of six science instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Led by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the CRISM team includes expertise from universities, government agencies and small businesses in the United States and abroad.


Mediatype image
Creator NASA/JPL/JHUAPL
Date 0000
Instrument CRISM
Program Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Object Mars
Insightuid nasaNAS~4~4~19424~124317
Source http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA09346
What Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars
What Spectrometer
What Mars
What CRISM
What Phoenix
What Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS)
What THEMIS
What Earth
What Crater
Where Canada
Where United States of America
Identifier PLAN-PIA09346
Addeddate 2009-11-03 03:59:07
Publicdate 2009-11-03 04:01:56
Backup_location ia903604_9

comment
Reviews

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write a review.
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
NASA Images
image
eye 16
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/gallery/press/20070215_FRT0000332C_FRT00003901.html
NASA Images
by NASA/JPL/JHUAPL
image
eye 15
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA10074
NASA Images
by NASA/JPL/JHUAPL
image
eye 22
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA09351
NASA Images
by NASA/JPL/JHUAPL
image
eye 17
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA09101
NASA Images
by NASA/JPL/JHUAPL
image
eye 20
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA10073
NASA Images
by NASA/JPL/JHUAPL/Brown University
image
eye 26
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA09343
NASA Images
by NASA/JPL/JHUAPL
image
eye 15
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA09195
NASA Images
image
eye 13
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA10085
NASA Images
by NASA
image
eye 91
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/display.cfm?IM_ID=5823
NASA Images
by NASA/JPL/JHUAPL
image
eye 17
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA09349